Volume 75, Number 11 | August 3 - 9, 2005

Scoopy's Notebook

Dorm’s kosher: Following up on last week’s Scoopy item about Gregg Singer’s latest plan for his dorm project at the old P.S. 64 on E. Ninth St., a source from Chabad of Gramercy Park confirmed to us that they have been in negotiations with the developer. “We want to create a school and an opportunity for housing the students,” said the source, requesting anonymity. Asked if he could detail the project, he said, “Right now, the project is to create tolerance.” However, he did say the Chabad project — at 19 stories and 222 units — would help continue the neighborhood’s gentrification, in a positive sense. “It’s a different community now,” he said. “If our project happens, it’s going take it to another level…. If one person has to have a little obstructed view from a penthouse apartment, you’re telling me this project to house students is no good?” He said Singer is just trying to do something beneficial for the neighborhood but has been unfairly vilified.

Keeping neutral: In the interest of neutrality, Maria Passannante Derr, the new Community Board 2 chairperson, as a policy is not going to vote on any matters before the board, but will abstain, which is in fact equal to a No vote. In the case of a tie, though, she will cast the deciding vote.

East side story: Congressmember Carolyn Maloney planned to endorse Scott Stringer for Manhattan borough president on Wed., Aug. 3, at a Stuyvesant Town press conference. The endorsement comes as a blow to Eva Moskowitz, the East Side councilmember who got her start in politics managing Maloney’s ’96 reelection campaign. Brice Peyre, a Stringer volunteer and executive member of the Lexington Democratic Club, which endorsed Stringer, called it a major inroad on the East Side for West Side Assemblymember Stringer.

St. vinny plans: At last month’s C.B. 2 meeting, board member Dr. John Maggio of St. Vincent’s Hospital gave a brief overview of the hospital’s situation after its recent bankruptcy declaration. “What does this mean for the continued health care of Greenwich Village? Not much,” Maggio told the board. He said the hospital may sell or rent out its O’Toole building, a former maritime union building, on Sixth Ave. and may convert buildings it owns on Sixth Ave. between 15th and 16th Sts. and on 12th St. to rental apartments. In general, Maggio said, the current thinking is “there are too many hospital beds” in Manhattan, and that two Manhattan hospitals will probably close next year.

Knock ’em, sock ’em: The latest word from our sources keeping tabs on the petition challenges in the Second City Council District primary race is that not everyone who was challenged has been knocked off. Claudia Flanagan and Manuel Cavaco have been knocked off the ballot; Flanagan reportedly was 300 signatures short of the required 900 after the Coalition for a District Alternative’s challenge, while Cavaco only had 75 to begin with. Flanagan has reportedly thrown in the towel and will not fight the Board of Elections’s verdict. Michael Lopez reportedly just needs seven more valid signatures and plans to go to court to fight to stay on the ballot. Reverend Joan Brightharp — hallelujah! — is on the ballot. Meanwhile, Mildred Martinez remains on the ballot, despite CoDA’s challenge, because, according to a source, CoDA apparently mailed its booklet for the challenge to the wrong address. As a result, Martinez’s petitions will be gone over line by line by a State Supreme Court referee at Elections starting on Thursday.

He’s our guy! Darren Bloch was endorsed last Thursday by the League of Conservation Voters in the race for the Second City Council District. Marcia Bystryn, N.Y.L.C.V. executive director, said, “Darren Bloch’s environmental platform and complete understanding of the issues makes him an ideal candidate for the N.Y.L.C.V. endorsement. The residents and communities of the Second Council District will be well served with Darren Bloch as their next councilmember.”
 
He’s not our guy! City Council candidate Michael Beys’s campaign wanted to clarify to us that Allen Bortnick’s role with Beys’s campaign is over: “Bortnick was hired to coordinate a portion of Mike’s petition drive…for the September primary,” Beys’s campaign manager said. “With the petitioning process complete, he is no longer part of the campaign and is not authorized to make statements on behalf of the campaign.”

Ballad goes on: Karen Kramer’s “The Ballad of Greenwich Village” is having an extended run at the Quad cinema on 13th St. — the only theater where it’s currently showing — and will now be held over at least until Aug. 10.

park stuff: Warner Johnston, a Parks Department spokesperson, tells us that “The Alamo” cube sculpture removed from Astor Pl. in March for repairs, is getting an extra dose of renovation thanks to additional funds from the city Department of Transportation. The sculpture is on D.O.T. property but Parks has expertise with sculptures. “We’re very excited about this. We will do a complete restoration,” Johnston said, “taking it apart, replacing the axle, ball bearings. It’s actually going to be spinnable and will be back in a couple of months.” The original estimate for the renovation was 60 days…. On another park-related issue, the article in last week’s Villager about a 13-year-old skateboarder getting $1,100 in fines from undercover officers for skateboarding in Union Square incorrectly identified the officers as police, when, in fact, they were Park Enforcement Patrol officers. Asked if its was typical to issue such large fines, Johnston said the department was still conducting an “internal review” of the matter and that he had no comment.

Barbara, Barbara: A June 13 article on an exhibit on the 50th anniversary of the Public Theater incorrectly referred to Barbara Harris, who is an actress, as having been Joe Papp’s devoted secretary. It was Barbara Carroll, now a theatrical P.R. person, who was Papp’s devoted secretary. The article’s author, Jerry Tallmer, apologizes to both women for the error.

Oops: An item in Scoopy’s last week reported that Bob Rinaolo of Community Board 2 had bought the W. 12th St. building home to the Beatrice Inn for $200,000. If this deal sounds too good to be true, it was. Our source tells us the $200,000 was just to buy the goodwill and name of the famed restaurant — but the rest of the building cost more.

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ohn Sexton, the university’s president, stated they’re itching to buy the Catholic Center site on Washington Square South, but that if they did, they would build “not to the legal max” of 10 stories. As if N.Y.U. would be doing the community a favor! Hey, a 9 1/2-story building is still too tall! By the way, the Newsday reporter got the idea for the article after reading Marty Tessler’s letter to the editor in The Villager wishing Bob Rinaolo good luck in dealing with N.Y.U. as new chairperson of the Community Board 2 Institutions Committee.

Hot property: As for Rinaolo, a little birdy tells us he recently purchased the building containing the Beatrice Inn restaurant on W. 12th St., at which many local luminaries, including a strong contingent of C.B. 2 members, are known to make the scene. The building and restaurant were owned by Aldo and Vivian Cardia, whose mother, Elsie, longtime owner, died several months ago. Word has it the purchase price was $200,000. The Cardias will continue to operate the restaurant, but who knows for how long? The building has six rental tenants.

Strictly business: In other committee change updates on C.B. 2, John Diaz is chairperson and Mark Rosenwasser is vice chairperson of the Business Committee; apparently Don Lee decided he did not want to be the committee’s co-chairperson because of time constraints.
 
None of your business: The Villager article two weeks ago on 47 E. Third St. may have misstated the amount co-owners Alistair and Catherine Economakis spent to buy the building they now want to empty of tenants. In an interview with writer Sarah Ferguson, Alistair Economakis first admitted to spending about $800,000 to acquire the tenement, then said that was not correct, but declined to say how much the couple spent, saying it was irrelevant. We thought we should make that more clear, or rather unclear.

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